Renting Guidelines

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Housing and Roommate Search

Looking for off campus housing?

University of Michigan provides an Off-Campus Housing listing website as a resource to students:

We encourage students, faculty, and staff to check out the exciting new features offered on the site.

Take Time Before You Sign

If you are looking for housing off-campus, but don’t know where to start, don’t worry. We’ve put together a series of seven videos, which cover all the different pieces and parts of the house-hunting process, from budgeting, choosing roommates, signing the lease, and questions for landlords. These videos might not answer every single question related to off-campus housing, but are a good place to start before you begin your search. Take a look, and if you have more questions, please reach out to Beyond The Diag, or one of the partners who helped put them together.

Take time before you sign: December updates

Next fall, the University of Michigan will be starting the term on August 31, 2020, which is a shift from the typical post-Labor Day start. Aside from potentially switching up your summer travel plans, this change may also impact your fall 2020 lease. If you are signing a lease for next fall, make sure that you will be able to move in before classes begin. Ask your landlord if move-in by August 31st will be possible, and plan ahead to make other arrangements if it is not.

Contributed by Samantha Nelson, –Program Assistant 

Take time before you sign: November updates

Next fall, the University of Michigan will be starting the semester on August 31st 2020, which is a shift from the typical post-labor day start date. Aside from potentially switching up your holiday travel plans, this change may also impact your lease for the next school year. If you are signing a lease for next fall, make sure that you will be able to move in before classes begin. Ask your landlord if you can move in by August 31st 2020, to make sure that you will have housing when classes commence. 

Lease Terminology

Understanding the lease terminology before you sign a lease is important.



The agreed upon period of time in which the lease is in effect.  Before you sign the lease check that the start and end dates align with your academic calendar needs. You'll often see an 11.5 month lease term in  Ann Arbor, however, the rent for the term of the lease is generally divided into 12 equal installments.



Securing Your Security Deposit

What is a security deposit?

  • A security deposit is any required prepayment of rent other than the first month's rent.  During the time that you live in off campus housing, your landlord holds on to the security deposit, but it is still your money!

How can I get my security deposit back after I vacate the property?

Housing Management Survey Results

Central Student Government has created the Housing Management Survey for students exploring their housing options. The purpose of the Housing Management Survey is to provide students a voice through which to express their levels of satisfaction with the Ann Arbor off campus housing management companies. Furthermore, the intent of the survey is to help other students looking for housing make informed decisions on where to live.

Read the results of the survey.


Prepare Now for Fall 2019 Move In

Moving into your off-campus apartment or house can be a very exciting time! You might be living with your BFF's from day 1 of college or new friends ready for a new adventure. Whether you're in the cute house with character, a high rise with an open concept, a ground floor apartment with a backyard patio, your new space is important to your Michigan experience. Moving off-campus comes with many responsibilities too. Here are some tips to prepare you:

1.  First things first: Activate the utilities 

Think Before Resigning Your Lease: Early Lease Ordinance

My landlord recently wrote me and my roommates saying that we had a couple of weeks to decide whether or not we wanted to re-sign our lease for next school year. We had only been settled into our new home for a few weeks when we got the message. Classes had just begun, football games were being played, and I was still trying to buy all the things I need to live. Needless to say, we weren’t ready to make another year long financial commitment.


Living on your Own

Moving off campus is an exciting part of your Michigan experience; however, the transition to living on your own can be overwhelming. There are many responsibilities that come with renting a home/apartment in Ann Arbor: maintaining a good relationship with your landlord, keeping up with rent payments, and getting involved in your neighborhood – just to name a few. Keep these things in mind for a successful year ... 

The Lease

Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

When you decide to move off campus, you should be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. In addition to understanding your rights pursuant to state and local laws, you should read your Lease Agreement carefully to be aware of your rights, obligations, and responsibilities, under the lease. Check out some examples below of Tenants' Rights and Responsibilities, as well as a few recommendations from Student Legal Services' own Gayle Rosen.

The 5 Best Spring & Summer Sublet Tips

Are you leaving for the summer? Do you need someone to sublet your space? Do you know how to find the best person? Have no fear, we have your answers here!

#1 ALWAYS review your lease and ask your Property Manager about subletting policies for the property in which you live.  Every landlord handles subletting differently. In most cases, you will continue to be the primary leaseholder and will be responsible for the full rent and utility costs.

Off-Campus Housing Assistance

The Beyond the Diag program in the Dean of Students office provides a dispute resoultion service called Off Campus Housing Assistance for student tenants and registered landlords/property managers. The purpose of this service is to resolve off-campus housing disputes between parties by using shuttle negotiation to reach a mutually desired outcome. Shuttle Negotiation is defined as an indirect conversation, facilitated by a non-involved party, between two or more parties involved in a conflict.

Renter's Insurance

The University does not provide protection against lost, damaged or stolen personal property or for injury to anyone (tenant, guest or visitor) in off-campus housing as a result of their own actions or the actions of others.

Be a Good Neighbor

Remember that your off campus neighbors live just feet away. Maintain a positive relationship with the students or Ann Arbor residents next door, and keep these helpful tips in mind:

Your Security Deposit

A security deposit includes any rent you pay in advance - other than the first month - and legally cannot exceed the cost of 1.5 month's rent. At the end of your lease, your landlord may deduct money from your deposit for unpaid rent, unpaid utility bills, or damages to the rental unit caused by you or your guests. 

Here is a timeline of what to expect regarding your security deposit at the end of your lease:

Within 4 days of move-out…